tv Today in Washington CSPAN July 1, 2011 6:00am-7:00am EDT
parts a and c of the guideline amendment that the commission promulgated under the fair sentencing act. address sentencing inequities that the commission has known about and cared about for years. indeed, even before any of the currently incarcerated crack cocaine the disparity has passed a lot -- cast a long and persistent shadegg. it has spawned clouds of controversy and an aura of unfairness that has shrouded nearly every federal crack cocaine sentence that was handed down pursuant to that law. in my view, that congress has taken steps to clear the air by
making a significant downward adjustment to the statutory penalties for crack offenses -- there is no excuse for those serving this sentences under prior guidelines must carry on as if none of this has happened. i believe that the commission has no choice but to make this right. our failure to do so would harm not only those serving sentences pursuant to the prior guideline penalty, but all who believe in equal application of the law and the fundamental fairness of our criminal justice system. the decision we make today, which comes more than 16 years after the commission's first report to congress on crack cocaine, reminds me in many
respects of an oft quoted statement from the late dr. martin luther king jr.. he said, "the ark of the moral universe is long, but it been stored justice." -- it bends towards justice." today, the commission completes the arc. i say justice demands this result. thank you. judge? >> it is always a challenge to follow commissioner jackson and her poetry. [applause] i do want to explain my thoughts for retroactive application of the permanent amendment that we sent to congress on may 1.
before i get to those parts of the amendment that reduce guideline sentences for crack offenses in accord with the reduced penalties, i did want to spend a moment talking about part c of the amendment, which incorporates the guidelines for all offenders, not just crack offenders -- is certain mitigating factors that is not part of the amendment that the commission is applying retroactive effect for. i wanted to address why that is. the aggregating and mitigating factors in part c of the amendment in my mind would involve time-consuming and administratively difficult to apply factors for a court to look at on a retroactive basis. these are new factors that were
not formally considered by judges as part of the original guideline calculations. consideration is to make part d retroactive it would make parts -- courts to involve themselves in the fact-finding and possibly litigation over the aggravating factors. this process, to my mind, would be barred and sent to the point of impracticality. some to not -- burden som the point of impracticality. that is in contrast to parts a and b. we do not believe it that administratively those would be unmanageable for the courts. on the contrary, we think courts
would be able to perfectly managed retroactive application of those two parts of the amendment. i do not want to repeat the history that commissioner jackson referred to, but i do want to say that the sentencing commission has for many years said that crack sentences were too severe. under the leadership of our former chairman and our colleague, we did something about it in 2007. we reduced guideline penalties for crack by two levels and make that guideline change retroactive in 2008. the judge -- the justice deserves a lot of credit for that. when we subsequently passed the act that made more significant reductions in crack penalties than we were able to, this commission acted promptly in 2010 under the leadership of our
former chairman, judge bill sessions, to enact a temporary guideline limits to implement the new law. our new chairman, judge seros, has led us to this debate on the permanent amendment and the consideration we did it today -- making that amendment retroactive. i thank her for her leadership. these past actions recognize the work of many commissioners both past and present, including the reports justice jackson mentioned, has led us to the but we take today. it is the culmination -- culmination of many years of research, data collection, analysis, and it reports that equate us with the steps we've made in 2007, 2008, and 2010. what is noteworthy in this history is that no matter in the
makeup of the bipartisan commission, we have been able to come to a unified position on this issue just as we do today. the commission worked to help persuade congress that this was the right policy and the right thing to do. in making this decision, we have heeded the input we have received both for and against retroactive application of the amendment in taken careful statutory authority to make retroactive guideline amendments that reduce sentencing ranges. we have considered carefully the letters received from members of congress, some of whom have urged retroactive application of the guideline amendments, and those who have not. those members who have cautioned against retroactive application have eloquently stated that silenced by congress on the
issue should be a signal enough that we exceed our authority and violate congressional intent by making the amendment retroacted under any circumstances. i want to take a moment to address this issue. the commission has over its history used its authority under 28 usb and frequently to make retroactive guideline amendments that reduce sentencing ranges. the fidelity of judgment is an important principle in our judicial system and we require good reason to disturb final judgment. 750 amendments to the guidelines have been to increase guideline penalties, approximately 100 have reduced penalties, yet only 28 of the guideline reducing amendments
have been made retroactive over the history of the commission. the commission's authority to make guideline reducing amendments recollected is consistent with the purposes and duties laid out to us by congress in our organic statute. congress gave us both lofty and practical goals. among the lofty goals, congress directed us to update -- update additional amendments to the knowledge of human behavior as it relates to the criminal justice process. practical goals included directions to the commission to examine the capacity of prison facilities women promulgate guideline amendments. in fact, congress enacted us to formulate the gadflies -- guidelines. we are now at over 35% overcapacity in our federal prisons.
congress has given the commission very clear direction. we must consider retroactive application of the guideline reducing amendment as a commissioner jackson pointed out, and part of that consideration -- we must take into account the purposes of sentencing set out in the sentencing reform act and our other statutory responsibilities, but lofty and practical. among the purposes of sentencing that we must try to achieve our fairness, impartiality, and avoiding sentencing disparities. to my mind, retroactive application on parts a and b help achieve this purpose is. i share the view on the -- of the congressional black caucus that the guideline changes would help address racial disparity
and undo a long history of injustice in federal sentencing. to those who have concerns about our agenda on this commission, let me assure you that this commission has no agenda other than to fulfill our statutory duties to the best of our ability. we do so with our amazing staff. i appreciate the concern that reducing the sentence is a crack offenders may send the wrong signal about being tough on crime. this has no basis in fact. even with reduced kit -- sentences, most crack offenders will still serve on average over 10 years. over a decade in prison is a tough sentence no matter how you put it. they will still spend tougher sentences than those convicted of a powder keg -- powdered cocaine. in the end, i am very proud of
the work of this commission and very proud to support retroactive application of parts a and b of our guidelines. >> thank you. commissioner friedrich. >> might vote today is based on the fair sentencing act of 2010, the legal standards governing of retroactivity. the commission of three presidents and data as well as the public comments that the commission has received today, including the law community's testimony, some in congress have argued that the commission does not have the authority to give retroactive effect to the amendment because it be fair sentencing act is silent with regard to retroactivity. i agree the statute precludes retroactive activity unless congress state the clear intent
otherwise. congress has expressed no intent here. however, the fair sentencing act must be read in connection -- in conjunction with the commission's organic statute. the commission is required to consider retroactivity with respect to any guideline amendments that reduces the term of imprisonment event where this amendment is based on legislation with -- which is silence with regard to retroactivity. consistent with the guidelines, the commission has traditionally consider three factors in determining retroactive effect that reduces the term of imprisonment. these factors, while not exclusive, include the purpose of the amendment, the magnitude of the change as a result of the amendment, and the administrative burden associated with retroactivity.
the weighing of these factors lead me to conclude on balance that the amendment should be given retroactive effect. the purpose of our men met 750 is to implement before sentencing act. the act amended the drug quality threshold that apply to the minimum penalties, such as the ratio of power to crack cocaine for offenses committed on or after august 3, 2010 is an out 18 to 1, reduced from 100 to one >> this change in ratio is consistent with the commission's recommendation to congress. when promulgated an amendment pursuant to legislation, the role of the commission is due at the met congress's statutory amendment. congress directed the commission to promulgate the guideline, a policy statement, or amendment and to make conforming
amendments to the guidelines as the commission determines necessary to achieve consistency with other guideline commissions -- provisions. the purpose is to restore fairs sentencing. the commission implemented this congressional directive through amendment 750. been in that incorporates the 18 to one drug quality ratio at every offense level on the drug quality table. it adds a number of new aggravating and mitigating factors and it believes the guidelines cross reference, which requires courts to sentence defendants that possessed five or more grants to crack cocaine to at least five years in prison. the fact that congress did not express a clear intent to give retroactive effect to the new minimum penalties and other provisions of the act is a factor that weighs heavily are against retroactivity.
however, this factor does not speak to the issue as to whether the guidelines amendment should be given retroactive effect. the amendment substantially lower stock by penalties, therefore, pursuant to 994u, the commission must decide whether to give retroactive effect to the portion of a amendment750. despite the fact the amendment is silent, in favor any retroactive or two -- rich elected at that to the amendment. -- retroactive to the amendment. it will assure that crack offenders are treated consistently and restore a greater degree of fairness in sentencing. for more than 15 years, the commission as well as progress has argued that the 100 to one
ratio is unfair and undermine key objectives. this will help remedy injustice. i also support retroactivity because i believe that the other key factors the commission must consider -- the magnitude of the change and the administrative burden -- way in favor of giving retroactive effect to the amendment. to be clear, the commission's decision today in no way alters the statutory minimum sentencing in the fair sentencing act. the mandatory penalties that apply to crack offenders the committed crimes before 2010 remain in effect. the commission estimates that approximately 12,000 of vendors will be eligible for possible sentencing reduction of approximately 23% on average.
these estimates are substantial and comparable to those associated with the 2007 amendment. the estimated savings to the bureau of prison are considerable. with respect to the administrative burden of the federal courts, concerns expressed in 2007 have diminished significantly as a result of the supreme court's decision in dillon vs. united states. in that case, the court affirmed the commission's if you that 3582 proceedings are not full slip -- full-scale rescinding. as judge reggie walton made it clear, judges, probation officers, and litigants ably implemented the 2007 amendment, notwithstanding the considerable resources expended. the number of crack offenders that will be eligible for a potential reduction in sentence
will be substantially less than those that were eligible in 2007. the commission anticipates the vast majority of the anticipated 3582c motion can be handled without the need for hearings or the presence of the defendants. however, to minimize the need for judicial fact-finding, the commission votes to restrict parts a and b. we vote to preclude sensing reductions below the guideline range in -- except for cases in which a defendant has received significant -- these rules will set clear limits that will minimize and
simplify any future litigation. the department of justice supports a retroactive application of amendment 750 but has urged the commission to bar certain classes of offenders, mainly those who fall in criminal history categories 4, 5, and six, and those who received firearms enhancement. while i share these concerns regarding public safety, redolent sensing data counsels against categorically ruling against offenders in these categories. data related to the implementation of the 2007 crackdown than it reveals that judges exercise the discretion pursuant to section 1b1.10 to
deny motions on the merits on public safety grounds. recently, the commission completed a three year recidivism study in which it compared the recidivism rates to crack offenders that were released early in conjunction with the 2017 recommend that with those crack offenders who serve their entire sentences. the study felt a difference in the recidivism rate. crack offenders at all in categories 4, 5, and six, and those who have firearms enhancements will have longer sentences. any reduction in sentences they may receive may in the way negate the extra prison time they are required to serve as a result of such aggravating factors regardless of amendment 750. offenders in these categories
will continue to serve longer prison terms than other crack offenders. to be sure, certain offenders in the categories the department of justice have identified those a significant threat to public safety and should not be released prematurely. reductions in sentence are not automatic. federal judges are expected to exercise the discretionary authority to deny reductions to those offenders who pose a risk to public safety. 1b1.10 requires judges to consider the risk to the public in each and every case. it is important to note that the commission's decision today will not take effect until november 1 of this year. this four month delay will give congress ample time to review amendment 750 and potentially disapproved of the commission's
retroactivity decision. it will also give the courts, the department of justice, and federal offenders time to and implement procedures that will lead to sound and efficient proceedings. thank you very much. unless you think we seated ourselves when it and man, it displays out that way. we now turn to the gentleman. >> in light of the historical decision and considering congress, i think it would be in congress if not untouchable if we fail to make this amendment richer elected. i do not want to repeat the things that have been said, most of which i agree with. i want to reemphasize a few things. the average sentence served by crack offenders that will benefit from a reduction in sentencing will be in excess of 10 years. the bureau of prisons is currently at 37% overcapacity.
that overcapacity and does not only create undesirable conditions for prisoners, but also for corrections staff. the bureau of prisons predicts that as things are going, even with new prisons coming on line, the net effect year after year will be an increase of several thousand prisoners a year. we have to take into account this and that we do our work. the bureau of prisons estimates that over the next five years as a result of us making this amendment retroactive, they can save in excess of $200 million while we alleviate somewhat prison overcrowding. we have to consider what the bureau of prisons impact is going to be. our decision today is based on fundamental fairness. >> thank you. first of all, i would like to say, although not as eloquent as everyone else has been, my vote counts as much as everyone
else's in favor of this amendment. i would be remiss if i did not mention the three chairs of that work on this. judge murphy continues his work and a judge wilkins recently wrote us a letter in favor of ritual activity. that means every single chair of this commission few is presently or has been the chair has been in favor of this particular retroactivity. title 28 requires the commission to determine when there has been a reduction in the guideline as to whether to make it retroactive and to what extent and to what sir substances -- circumstances judges should be able to do that. 1b1.10 presently indicates that there are among other factors, three the commission will
always consider -- the purpose of the amendment, the change, and the difficulty to apply it rich selectively. in 2007 we change the guidelines and those were directed. it has been clear to me that we have continued to hear comments from judges, practitioners, and others who are interested in the criminal justice system that retroactivity worked well and was a much more simple process than individuals might have thought it would have been. one of the important things we decided at the time we voted with regards to 2007 amendments becoming retroactive was that we would conduct a study as to the recidivism rate of studies that were freed and received lesser sentences as a result of the retroactivity. the results we received as a result of the studies showed
there really is a difference between the recidivism rates of the individuals who had a reduced sentence as opposed to those who assert the entire link year sentence. it is also important when we look at those percentages of recidivism to realize that when recidivism rates are relied upon, many times those include the arrest that have not turned into convictions yet as well as some technical violation that would not necessarily be to the level of a conviction coming as a result of them. the characters -- the fare sentencing act -- a bipartisan act. it is important for us to realize that it gave the commission emergency amendment authority which does not come with every unmet by congress. the present amendment we have sent to congress, which comes
into effect november 1, requires the commission's determination as to retroactivity. it is important for us to also realize that the commission in all of its decisions, whether it is new guidelines, amendments to guidelines, or retroactivity issues, always receive comments from all segments of individuals and organizations that are interested in the criminal justice system. we certainly received it with regards to this particular issue. we have heard from members of congress who have different views as to what we should do with regards to this particular issue. we have heard from the justice department, which is the executive branch. we offer from the judiciary and we have heard from the general public as well as the public defenders and individuals that practice as defense attorneys. it then becomes the role of the
sentencing commission to make the determination after having carefully reviewed all those comments. in many ways as judges do every time they senate's an individual as to what the right thing to do is. based on the decision of the commission, it does not mean any comment has been ignored or not been taken seriously. quite the contrary. just as judges do when they receive comments, every piece of comment and every letter of combat as well as testimony has been considered and the commission has come out unanimous -- unanimously to this decision. it is also important for us to bear in mind that all the commission does is make certain defendants eligible for a reduction in sentence. i think we are hearing from some of them right now. they seem to be very happy about it. [applause]
it is also important to realize that the decisions will continue to be in the hands of the judges. they will continue to make these decisions on individual bases. they are directed with regards to the guidelines themselves to determine whether reduction is appropriate and to what extent it is appropriate within the limits that are set in 1b1.10. with regard to those that say use of the firearm in possession -- there should be distinctions. it is also important for us to bear in mind that the guidelines have taken that into consideration. individuals with higher criminal history category scores have been sentenced to higher sentences. individuals with a firearm had been sentenced to life
sentences. all these aggravating factors have already been considered with regard to send its is that had been handed down. in closing, i would like to say that the reform act of 1984, with those of us -- for those of us who were not here before it went into effect in 1987, was a bipartisan piece of legislation that attempted to create a more fair system, that avoided unwanted disparity, that provided more transparency, and that set one system at the national level. senators kennedy -- kennedy, hatch, thurman were some of those individuals that worked awfully hard for a more fair system i named them, but there were many others who perform that task. what of the things provided in the sentencing reform act of 1984 was the creation of the
united states sentencing commission, a bipartisan commission that was set up to take the sentencing policy decisions out of the political process, out of the hands of just the prosecutor, and out of the hands of just the defense attorney. the purpose of the act was to set the sentencing policies of the united states with regard to guidelines and -- advice to be given to individual justice by an independent agency within the judiciary, which was supposed to act outside the political process and outside of the influence of one side or the other in the courtroom. the commission since its creation has done that. today, the commission has done that with regards to the decision as to how to proceed with a retroactivity on a particular statute. i think it is fair to say that
the commission, in making this decision, has acted outside the political process, outside of the request of the defense attorneys, and outside of the request of the prosecution. rather, has acted in its belief that the independent judges will make their individual decisions with regards to the particular case and whether it is the right thing to do in that particular situation and, also, the decision has been made by each member of this commission based on the consideration of all the principles that need to be considered with regard to retroactive application and has been made, certainly on my part and i believe on the part of every other commissioner, based on the fact that this is the fair and right thing to do. >> thank you, a judge hinojosa.
>> i think it is fair to say that it has been a very busy six months since you first became share. we have addressed, together as a commission, a variety of very important issues, ranging from health care fraud to firearms violence and many others as well. you have guided the commission and brought us to this day and this very important issue -- federal cocaine sentencing policy. many of my colleagues have mentioned that different people who have participated in the consideration of federal cocaine sentencing policy. i think it is important to recognize all of the people who have been involved in the last 17 years on this issue. there is no way i could possibly, and i will not, try to name all of them. suffice it to say that members of congress, current and past, former members of this
commission, the judicial conference, the commission's staff, at the sec groups, and many others have participate -- advocacy groups, and many others have participated. i remember in the 1990's when the commission issued its first report on federal cocaine sentencing policy, a report that remains a seminal report on this issue. i also want to mention the thousands of assistant united states attorneys, probation officers, public defenders, and judges to work every day in federal court -- federal court across the country and will be called upon to implement what we have decided to do today. all of these men and women take their responsibilities very seriously and i know they will faithfully execute the law and their duty to the best of their abilities. in particular, i do want to mention my colleagues in the u.s. attorney's offices from coast to coast to go to work every day to keep our
communities safe and to do justice. we of great thanks to the entire federal court community and we all have great good fortune of working with remarkable professionals across the court family. as many others subset already today, the fair sentencing act is a historic piece of legislation. it addressed what we think is the single most important issue affecting trust and confidence in the federal criminal justice system. it passed a bipartisan basis after many years of debate was very long overdue. about one month ago, the attorney general testified in person before this commission in support of retroactive application of the guideline amendment and the fair sentencing ag. he spoke about the importance of this issue to him and the cause of justice. i will not go over all of the reasons the department supports a retroactive application of
this amendment. we are grateful for the commission. as the eternal -- as the attorney general stated, we think retroactivity is an important step forward for the cause of justice. after today's vote will become very -- many months of alimentation. we think it is imperative decommission help facilitate the implementation of ritual activity. we appreciate the discussions at the commission has already had and the planning the commission and staff has already done. we pledge to you our support to make sure retroactivity is done in the -- in an official white and the courts get the information they need. we are committed to implementing this decision to achieve twin goals of public safety and justice. the attorney general indicated some of our public safety concerns are around press to activity. we need to do all we can to
ensure the thousands of case by case retroactivity determinations are robust and all decisions are made in every single case. as we have noted often, a violent crime rates across the country are generational load. part of the reason for that is a tough sentencing policy. we continue to believe in the necessity of a strong sense in policy that we will look as systemic issues facing us over these coming months. we think the fare sentencing act and the commission bossy actions are consistent with both tough and fair sentencing. thank you for considering our views and for your leadership. >> it is with enormous pride that i preside today as the
chair of this historic moment. united states sentencing commission, as you have heard, is a bipartisan body. we were nominated by the president and confirmed by the senate. we consist of judges and former prosecutors and defense attorneys. we have worked very hard over the last month to come to this decision and voted unanimously to make this amendment to the united states sentencing guidelines that reduced penalties for possessing and selling crack cocaine. this reduces cynicism by 37 months. the average sentence will drop from about 1642127 months. the purpose of the amendment is to fix a fundamental and fairness in our criminal justice system. in its report to congress in 1997, after extensive research,
the commission recognized this and it is for crack cocaine where on fairly high and i just because of the reach below the level of mid-level and serious traffickers. they apply to low-level street dealers. a high majority of crack cocaine offenders are african-american. because of the disparity in sentencing, we believe that retroactivity is fair and consistent with the purpose of the fair sentencing act of 2010. this vote on retroactivity will commit an estimated 12,000 prisoners service -- prisoners over a three-year period to petition the court for an early release. as many as 2000 prisoners may be eligible to file a petition in the first year. remember, before any prisoner is released, the courts have an obligation to consider whether
release will create a risk to public safety. certainly, there were disagreements at our hearings and during testimony about the precise form retroactivity should take. however, retroactivity in some form has been supported by, as you just heard, the attorney general of the united states, the criminal law committee of the judicial conference, senators leahy, durbin, franken, ken, congressman bobby scott, many members of the congressional black caucus, the american bar association, families against mandatory minimums, and many, many other advocacy groups. for over 15 years, the commission has advocated that congress should reduce the crack penalties. a broad bipartisan coalition in congress read by senator dick
durbin of illinois and senator jeff sessions of alabama work to pass a new law in the senate and representatives scott and conyers it took the lead to get the new law passed under suspension of the rules in the house. of course, not all prisoners will be entitled to this reduction. why? first, prisoners whose initial sentencing was below the equivalent of the new guideline range will not be entitled to any further reduction unless they get substantial assistance. the commission estimates that over 750 prisoners already received reductions below the proposed new guideline range. second, career offenders, people who already have a very serious criminal record, will not generally get the reduction. third, as earlier stated, many prisoners will be bound by
statutory minimum set under the previous statute. the proposed or selective application of the men met for reducing crack penalties prompted criticism. they describe themselves as the "boots on the ground". there discern is that the early release will create a threat to public safety. the commission has weighed at least of all criticisms with care. we ultimately decided that policy concerns did not prevail based upon the data and our own past experience. let me explain. in 2007, the commission reduce the deadline penalties for crack cocaine by two levels. this signaled the commission's concern that crack penalties were too high. it voted to give a richer activity to that -- a ritual
activity in 2008. during that process involving a much larger numbers of -- number of petition -- number of petitioners, judges rejected 604 petitions from prisoners who had high public safety risk. they rejected. half of these denials were in the highest criminal history category. justices were careful. the recidivism rate demonstrates that the rights of prisons -- prisoners released early were lower than those released under their additional sentence. of course, while any recidivism is unacceptable, the risk is mitigated because judges have the right to reject any prisoners who posed too high a public safety risk. for example, those prisoners who had disciplinary problems in prison. the commission does recognize the need for fidelity and
certainty in punishment. we know that retroactivity should be rare. we heard concerns from the united states attorney's offices. we are from some senators and congressmen about the resources needed to implement retroactivity. we appreciate and acknowledged those concerns raised about the use of resources, particularly in this top economy. however, the commission heard testimony that retroactive application of the 2007 amendment, which involve a much larger pool of eligible offenders, did not overly burden or taxed the criminal justice resources. i was the head of my liaison team in boston and i can say that from personal experience. the testimony received from the commission and my own personal experience suggests the process went smoothly because of the dedicated work of assistant u.s.
attorneys, assistant public defenders, and the commission, as well as the hard work of the justice -- judges and probation officers. the commission is, that this -- is confidant that this will go smoothly. we have received a commitment from all the actors in the criminal justice system who of work collaborative lead in making sure the amendment comprises only the appropriate prisoners. finally, the bureau of prisons reported a year of incarceration cost $27,000 per prisoner. prisons are overcrowded by 37%. they predict over five years that this will save to under $40 million. while cost savings alone should not be the reason for ritual activity, they should be taken
into account. this was a difficult decision. but we on the commission had been on the forefront of this effort to address the fundamental unfairness in society created by the disparity. the former chair set as a letter. he was the first chair of the united states sentencing commission. 1987 until 1994 -- he said if a lot is unfair going forward, it is unfair to those already sentenced under it. today's vote ensures the purpose of the pair sentencing act makes sure justice is served. i look forward to working with everyone -- with the criminal justice committee -- to address other critical sentencing issues facing the nation. thank you. >> on behalf of all of us, i
think it is appropriate for us to thank you for the work you have done with regard to getting us prepared to take this vote as well as working with our staff director and everybody on the staff to make sure we had all the information we need to make this decision. we appreciate your leadership with regard to this whole process. >> thank you very much. thank you to everyone. are there any other comments? is there a motion to adjourn? >> i knew that we adjourn. >> do we have a second? >> i second. >> all in favor? [all say "aye"] [laughter] [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
>> gop presidential candidate mitt romney of the u.s. economy and jobs. washington journal as alive as 7:00 a.m. with ongoing debates on the debt ceiling and the budget and how well u.s. businesses note u.s. history. charles bolden is speaking at the national press club today. live coverage it 1:00 p.m. eastern. >> tune in to c-span this independence day. there will be a discussion on whether united states can remain united. >> at the political level, we are divided. >> the dali lama talked about religion, violence, and the
death penalty. later, nixon white house insiders discuss his foreign- policy. monday, july 4, beginning at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. for a complete schedule, due to c-span.org. >> no republican presidential candidate, mitt romney, on the u.s. economy and jobs. he was at the former site of allentown metalworks, a site president obama visit did in 2009 to highlight his economic stimulus plan. this is 10 minutes. >> we are standing at the site of the allentown mental wards. this is the place president obama this did about a year and a half ago.
the plant has been open 100 years. to survive the great depression. it could not survive the obama economy the president says, "give me more time." it could have been worse. it could have been worse for the people who work here at this plant. for them, it is as bad as it gets. we now have 20 million americans out of work or dramatically unemployed. the president says just to give him more time. three years he has been in office. this is the third year in his four-year term. he said in february 2009 after being inaugurated, "if i cannot turn the economy around in three years, the nine is a one-year proposition." i am going to collect on that promise. this is a one-year term.
if people want change and what not this as a symbol of hope, but a growing economy as a symbol of hope, then we will have a change in washington and the white house. with that, i am happy to take any questions. >> do you think you could handle the economy any better if you were in his dissent -- in his position. how would you handle the deficit? what would you ask congress to do? >> there are a couple of questions there. first of all, the first role of any enterprise in trouble -- and our economy is in trouble -- is to recognize it is in trouble. number two, focus all of your energy into turning it around. the president's time has been spent playing golf and
campaigning. he should be spending his time and energy working on getting americans back to work and fixing this economy. there is a big issue coming up with regards to the debt ceiling. the president ought to be in washington meeting with republicans. meeting with democrats. he should not leave that town until he understands what is going to take to get this economy going again and with the fiscal crisis. he is year raising money for a campaign. he does not even have a primary opponent. the is going to raise $1 billion? we are not going to raise anywhere near that kind of money. focus on getting americans back to work. that is where he ought to be spending his time. >> let's do them one at a time. how can i assured voters i will do a better job. i can assure voters that i would spend every waking moment doing what i could to get americans back to work.
i would focus my energy and passion on the economy and on giving americans a good jobs. secondly, i spent 25 years in the private sector. i know what jobs leave. i know what they come. i have seen success and i have seen failure. in large of the economy works. the president is a nice guy and i know he is trying, but he does not understand how the economy works. he does not know what it takes to create jobs. government does not create jobs, but it creates the environment that allows employers to employ. he has done everything wrong. increasing taxes. increasing regulation. the lack of and in fact -- of an effective energy policy. the list goes on and on. he has failed every dimension to create the certainty that allows employers to hire and where the economy. >> if you were president today,
what would you tell congress to do specifically? >> i would tell them no. want to cut spending. number two, put a cap on federal spending. and number three, put together a balanced budget amendment. i know one thing, john mccain which has spent his time working to get the economy going. if he would have come here a year ago, they would have made sure this was the case. the president came here in called this a symbol of hope. this is a symbol of failure of his economic policy. he is out of his death when it comes to getting the economy going. it is just not something he understands.
>> [unintelligible] >> i did not say that things were worse. what i said was the economy has not turned around. you have 20 million americans out of work were seriously unemployed. housing values are still going down. you have a crisis of foreclosures in this country. by the way, if you think the economy is great and doing well, be my guest. the president of the united states put in a stimulus plan and said he would hold on employment below 8%. they% seemed like an awfully high number. it has not been below 8% cents. that is failure. we are over 9% unemployment. that is failure. we are still above 8% three
years later. he said in february 2009 if he could not get the economy turned around in three years, his would be a one-term proposition. it has not turned around. look around you. this is what he called the symbol of hope. boarded up windows. he is the one who came here. i did not pick the spot. he did. this is the spot he'd take to symbolize the success of this stimulus. my eyes tell me it ain't working. >> [unintelligible] >> can i win pennsylvania? pennsylvania what's good jobs. they want someone to focus on getting pennsylvania's back to work.
my intent is to use a career of work in the private sector and my understanding about jobs, and go to help america become the most attractive place in the world for investors, innovators, creators -- of what america to get back to work. -- i want america to get back to work. >> [unintelligible] >> i am not familiar with the specific bill. i like free trade agreements. i do not know the specific questions the republicans have with regard to the bill. there are a lot of republicans in washington that are saying the same thing. my own experience in dealing with the issue of people whose careers have been lost because industries are lost is that the best way to help those folks is
to attach a bit of a bonus or a bounty to those who are unemployed for some amount of time and let that money go to someone who hires them and puts them in a training program. i like people getting trained for actual jobs. we did that in my state. we made it $80,000 bonus. that strikes me as an appropriate way to help get people back on their feet. i like to think individuals who have been out of work for a long time, these industries have been decimated -- help those folks get skills to get better jobs. thank you. >> i get a few moments, today's adlai's and your calls live on "washington journal." then, admiral charles bolden. then, admiral charles bolden.